December 17 - Iranian powerlifter Mansour Pourmirzaei has been crowned International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athlete of the Month for November after his exploits at the Powerlifting Asian Open Championships in Kuala Lumpur where he took gold and smashed a world record in the process.
In an astonishing demonstration of power, the 33-year-old lifted 276 kilograms to obliterate the record of 240kg set by Iraq's Faris Al-Ajeeli, adding 36kg to the world mark in the over 107kg class.
"The mental preparation includes two phases," Pourmirzaei told paralympic.org.
"The first one starts six months before the competition in which the focus is only on the competition itself, and the important next phase concentrates on mental preparation exactly before and during the match session.
"In the first phase, I decide how to lift and how much to lift, but in the second phase, I just have a total concentration on my main aim.
"My training programme and schedules are conducted by my coach [Seyed Reza Hosseini] who leads me in this regard."
The Iranian will next be in action at the IPC Powerlifting World Championships in Dubai, which is due to run from April 5 to 11 next year, and says he has set his sights on breaking the 300kg mark.
"I think of 300kg, and I hope, if God willing, to lift it and break the world record," he said.
Pourmirzaei came out on top of the voting in the poll that also included wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden of the United States, Russian archer Timur Tuchinov, Algerian wheelchair basketballer Nabil Guedoun, goalball player Marius Zioblis of Lithuania and Japan's wheelchair tennis star Yui Kamiji, who became the first non-Dutch winner of the women's singles title at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in California last month.
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